The Duke of Sussex will miss the Royal family's traditional Box Day pheasant shoot under pressure from his pregnant wife, according to reports.

Prince Harry, now 34, has taken part in the Boxing Day shoot on the Sandringham estate since the age of 12. But according to the Sunday Mirror, he will miss it this year to spend time with the Duchess of Sussex, who he married in May.

A well-placed Kensington Palace source dismissed the claims yesterday. The source said: "This is completely untrue."

The Duchess is described as a "principled animal lover" who refuses to wear fur. She once described herself in an interview as vegan during the week.

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The decision to miss the shoot - if correct - may cause tension between Duke of Cambridge and his younger brother.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided to make a house on the Windsor estate their permanent home rather than an apartment in Kensington Palace next door to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge amid suggestions Prince William has not been welcoming towards the Duchess of Sussex, the former actress from America who married into the Royal family.

The Sunday Mirror quoted an insider saying: "On his mind, William sees this as another concerning example of his younger brother being pulled away from his family by his new wife.

"Harry's always loved hunting and it has provided them with a great chance to bond as brothers. But now it looks like Harry's shooting days are over. It's the latest point of contention between the Princes after a testing time in their relationship."

Harry has always joined his father, Charles, and brother, William, on Boxing Day hunting expeditions. Photo / Getty Images
Harry has always joined his father, Charles, and brother, William, on Boxing Day hunting expeditions. Photo / Getty Images

Kensington Palace refused to be drawn on claims of a row over the hunting issue nor whether it is true that Prince Harry will avoid the Boxing Day pheasant shoot. The source suggested the claims should be "taken with a pinch of salt".

It is alleged that Prince Harry missed the Boxing Day pheasant hunt last year and also grouse shooting at Balmoral three months ago. The Sunday Mirror claimed that the Duchess of Sussex had been unhappy to learn the prince had taken part in hunting boar in Germany while she had been in Canada filming her final scenes from the hit legal drama Suits.

Prince Harry is said to be eating much more healthily since dating the then Meghan Markle, including eating much less meat.

The Duchess once told Good Housekeeping magazine that she always kept chia seed pudding in her fridge along with almond milk, carrots and hummus and green juice.

The Vegan Society said yesterday it was encouraged by the Duchess' apparent stance against hunting.

Dominika Piasecka, spokesman for The Vegan Society, said: "We're delighted to hear that the Duchess has been persuading Prince Harry not to take part in the Royal Christmas pheasant shoot. Traditions are important for every nation but if they involve senseless killing, they should not be allowed to continue.

"Vegan or not, many Brits strongly oppose hunting animals and we hope to see the Royal family set an example and stop participating in this cruel practice."